Last week, I ended part two of Sean’s story with him receiving a new bicycle from his small group. This experience, led by God, allowed the truth of the scriptures to sink into his heart. Now he could not only say that he knew the truth as a fact, but he knew the truth as a reality.
Sean’s story illustrates the point that our experiences shape the way we view our identity. Our interpretation of our experiences can be accurate or inaccurate. When we go through a negative experience without a positive experience to counter-act it, we’ll see our identity through the eyes of the negative event.
If we’ve gone through a time of discovering the truth, we’ll know the factual truth about our identity. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. We must go one step further to experience a positive event that can override the negative event. Only then can we know the truth about our identity as God sees it. We’ll see ourselves properly, through God’s eyes.
How we interpret the events affects our long-term feelings about life. If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, it’s probably because of a negative interpretation of a negative experience. Without a positive intervention that allows you to see the truth, you might end up with destructive behavior toward yourself or others.
I’ve included a diagram below which illustrates how a person can move from a hurtful event, to a healing process, and onto a new reality. I regularly use it with my clients to help them see how their lives became dysfunctional and how they can return to healthy living. See if you can trace Sean’s experiences through the diagram, then try an example from your own life.